• This site requires you to update your browser. Your browsing experience may be affected by not having the most up to date version.
    Please visit http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ to upgrade.

  • JavaScript has been disabled in your browser. Please enable JavaScript to experience the full functionality of our website.

Odour Review of Layer Farms and Development of S-Factor Formula

  • Organisation Integrity Ag Services

Odour Review of Layer Farms and Development of S-Factor Formula

This project was conducted to develop an S-factor formula to be integrated into the revision of the Environmental Guidelines for the Egg Industry. A robust and science-based separation distance (S-factor) formula will provide improved planning and development outcomes for the egg industry and will provide greater certainty that community amenity impacts can be managed for new and expanding layer farms.

Leading research

Separation distances can assist in managing some of the community amenity impacts of intensive animal industries, including layer farms, by assisting in protecting receptors (neighbours and towns) from nuisance odours, as well as protecting existing enterprises from conflict with the surrounding community. Optimum separation distances between layer farms and receptors depend on several factors. These include: the size of the layer farm (number of birds), the design and management features of the farm, the surface roughness of the earth between the layer farm and receptors, local terrain surrounding the farm and site meteorological conditions. These factors can be incorporated into an empirically-based (S-factor) formula, a common methodological approach that is used as a first step in determining the appropriate location of a new or expanding development. They are designed to provide a generous separation distance to avoid the additional cost of going to a more detailed site assessment, using odour modelling. 

The development of an egg specific S-factor formula through this project allows layer farms to be assessed on their potential impact, rather than using inappropriate formulas from other industries (primarily meat chickens). It also allows a robust, first step approach for assessing new and expanding farms, before going to detailed, expensive and sometimes unnecessary odour impact assessment using odour modelling.

Want to see what an egg farm looks like? Take this interactive 360 degree tour to see how eggs are produced in Australia.

Free range farm with two people